Victoria: City of Gardens

empress hotel gardens

Boomdee poses in the Empress Hotel gardens

After a lovely week on holiday in Victoria, BC, I’m ready to move there.  I’m originally from Ontario, Canada, so I felt a bit of a reconnection to my roots, even though I lived on the other side of the country. Victoria is known as The City of Gardens, another good reason to live there. Of course any good vacation is joyous and fun-filled with minimal responsibilities. Toss in a best friend and her cousin and it’s easy to see why I didn’t want to leave.

Back home and settled in, I’m still dreaming of this beautiful place and making mental plans to return.

orca whale statue

Floribunda: Even the art is covered in flowers


According to a Wiki article on the island:

Victoria’s equable climate has also added to its reputation as the “City of Gardens”. The city takes pride in the many flowers that bloom during the winter and early spring, including crocuses, daffodils, early-blooming rhododendrons, cherry and plum trees. Every February there is an annual “flower count” in what for the rest of the country and most of the province is still the dead of winter.

flower perfection

Flower perfection

Due to its mild climate, Victoria and its surrounding area (southeastern Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, and parts of the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast) are also home to many rare, native plants found nowhere else in Canada, including Quercus garryana (Garry oak), Arctostaphylos columbiana (Hairy manzanita), and Canada’s only broad-leaf evergreen tree, Arbutus menziesii (Pacific madrone). Many of these species exist here, at the northern end of their range, and are found as far south as southern California and parts of Mexico.

Victoria Regent Hotel garden

Outside the Victoria Regent Hotel

Non-native plants grown in Victoria include the cold-hardy palm Trachycarpus fortunei, which can be found in gardens and public areas of Victoria. One of these Trachycarpus palms stands in front of City Hall.

I felt right at home.

popcorn cart of flowers

victoria flower baskets

Classic Victoria: Flowering baskets beneath signature street lamps

Intrigued? Check out Tourism Victoria for a list of activities on the Island

Take a ride on a water taxi. We did, and it was loads of fun.

Butchart Gardens: My own take on this national treasure.